Help, please. Losing ducks :-(

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by allergymama, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. allergymama

    allergymama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have (had [​IMG]) 11 ducks (mix of WH, Rouen, KC, pekin & mutts) and 5 geese (mutts). A duck was attacked and died on Wednesday night. DH didn't get the door closed well on their run and shed, which is a raised floor Rubbermaid shed attached to 5 cattle panels in an arch that is covered with 1/2" hardware cloth (which goes out 18" onto the ground and is covered by large rocks).

    DH thought it was a weasel (we lost one to a weasel one early morning about 10 months ago after we let them out). After much searching we found her in the run but the door was open and everyone was outside. Figured human error was the cause.

    Last night I get home at 10:30 and I see they are acting different. Go out and ALL the ducks have bloody spots on the backs of their necks and heads and one can't stand upright. I begin to wonder if it's the geese causing it, since they aren't injured at all. (Even though the geese have been raised since day olds with these ducks, they are 10 months old right now, and while they haven't been illustrating any mating behavior I know geese can be more aggressive at nesting times.) we get everyone cleaned up as best as we are able in the dark and check out the perimeter and all through the straw in the shed. We find nothing. We put the geese outside the pen and leave the ducks in.

    We check on them maybe 1/2 dozen times overnight. By morning, the one who couldn't stand well is dead and has been eaten around the spinal cord.

    So to my questions: could this be the geese that originally did this? Would the ducks cannibalize another duck after the fact?

    Could something be living in there that would cause this kind of damage that we didn't find? I didn't see the first one who died, but when we had a weasel before it ripped the head off the duck through chicken wire. DH said it was more like wounds this time. This is different. The ducks last night all had wounds from 0.5-1.5" in diameter. They were fine outside all day yesterday (we have an acre or so fenced in with electric wire and chicken wire) and everyone who survived the night is outside now. Help! I don't know how to stop this from happening if I don't know what it is and everyone is so sad here. To lose 2 ducks in 2 nights after 3 years of losing only 1 total is so sad.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2017
  2. allergymama

    allergymama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2014
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    Help, please?
     
  3. allergymama

    allergymama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2014
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    When checking on them again I found a small gap in the fence from the ground settling that could easily be used by a weasel or mink (we have both around here). Would a weasel or mink cause those kinds of wounds?

    I'm afraid to put them in tonight! I figure they might stand a better chance if they aren't penned.
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    They do not stand a better chance not penned. Fix the problem and you can rest knowing they are safe. Leaving them outside will only draw other predators for the easy meal.

    Very sorry for you loss and a weasel or mink can also kill a goose.

    @allergymama
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2017
  5. allergymama

    allergymama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2014
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    We have fixed any tiny hole we could find, removed all the straw and checked for hiding critters and gaps/holes. Replaced all the straw. Have a conibear trap outside the run that I will spring in the morning when I let them all out, and are putting an enclosed weasel trap inside the run. Ducks are all in the shed. Geese are blocked off in the run. Had to bring one of them inside he is doing worse than this morning. Poor baby just collapsed and snuggled into me when I picked him up off the pond.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. allergymama

    allergymama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2014
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    Safe night. Something ate the bait off the conibear trap, so we need to adjust the sensitivity, I think, but everyone is still alive and quacking this morning. (And they cracked me up because ducks and geese had a quack/honk fest when they saw each other for the first time this morning like "I missed you guys" lol)

    Saunders is still in intensive care...aka, my bathroom. [​IMG]
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Hope Saunders recovers soon. Aww happy to hear all is safe.At least you know something came around hopefully tonight will be the night for the catch.
     

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